February 21st 2019
Today, we had one of the coolest experiences on this trip. We had the opportunity to ride the BULLET TRAIN. It was SO cool. I definitely thought that I would feel like we were going so fast, but I realized how fast we were travelling when we past another train. The trains are very long, but it felt like only a few seconds of passing them. It was so amazing!
After arriving in Hiroshima, we visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. The Memorial was so moving and so tragic. We teamed up with a few of the students from the Hiroshima Institute of Technology who hosted our choir in Hiroshima. We split up into a few groups and they lead us through the memorial. There was a lot of emotions. As we looked through the exhibitions and the devastation in Hiroshima, we couldn’t believe that humans could do something so awful to other people…even if they were at war. It broke all our hearts. The most emotional part for me was when we were walking around the outdoor memorial. I saw this family that had three young children. The children were playing with no care in the world when the bomb hit…and I tried to imagine the moments before the A-bomb dropped. I wondered whether they would be playing without knowing. Without knowing that the most terrible thing to hit human kind would happen in just a few moments. That broke me. The idea that these poor kids who did absolutely nothing wrong were going to die; they were never going to grow up and experience life. These children were so innocent, so young. They never did anything wrong, yet they had to punished for whatever it was that they never did. Walking through the museum and listening to the testimony of one of the survivors was very emotional. There were many tears shed today, but I think that brings some hope. The tears that we shed today shows that we have empathetic and kind hearts. We want the best of people and I truly believe that everyone was inspired by the museum and the message of the survivor. She said something that would stick with all of and I am paraphrasing, but it was around the lines of this: “The bombing of Hiroshima was a tragedy. A tragedy that should never be forgotten. I believe that by sharing my testimony, I can teach young people to love one another. The atomic bomb is a dangerous weapon that no one should ever experience and I hope that by sharing my testimony today, I can inspire you all to be the best people that you can be and the loving people that you can be”. I don’t believe that her message was only for us, but for all human kind. Like, psychologist Eric Fromm would say the answer to the human condition is LOVE and that is what we all learned today. Maybe we are young and maybe we don’t have too much life experience yet…but we know what it looks like to be wrong. We know that taking a human life is wrong. We learned that the bombing of Hiroshima was more about a display of power for all the world to see than about winning a war. It is a tragedy that thousands of innocent civilians had to lose their lives just to show the world how powerful one is. In 1 Corinthians 13, the Bible employees us to spend our life on what endures throughout time and says this… “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”. IF we learned anything today is that Love is more powerful than Hate and that Peace is more enduring than War. We are on a goodwill tour to show love to our friends in Japan and for them to show their love to others. We had a great day with our friends…and we learned a lot.